Statewide: April 21, 2011 Archive
Numbers are very important for farmers this time of year. They're ready to plant the new crop, but except for some very scattered fieldwork over the last week, nothing's moving.
There's a number: 0. As in, none of the Minnesota spring wheat crop has been planted. The average for this time of year would be about 9 percent. That means there's a lot of farmers watching and waiting. A little knot of concern tightens somewhere in their subconscious. It's time to be in the fields.
Here's another number: 1.00". That's one inch of rain at Winnebago last week. Southern Minnesota. Right in the heart of the state's best farmland. Most other spots across the state received less than that, but it was enough to keep farmers out of the fields. Melting water from the winter snows also helped delay things, but by itself the March thaw isn't enough to put spring planting on a lengthy hold.
Last year, Minnesota also had heavy snow, but when it melted the rains held off so that soils dried and farmers could get moving. Maybe that type of weather will return this year. A little later, but soon? That little knot is loosening a bit.
One final number: 28. As in April 28. If you had to pick one day as the best possible day to plant corn, University of Minnesota Extension says that's it.
Corn planted on that day, with good weather throughout the growing season, makes 208 bushels an acre. (OK, I guess a few more numbers.) If farmers plant two weeks later, by May 14, it's 204 bushels. By May 26, production is off 15 percent, at 177 bushels per acre. In most years, that kind of a drop could mean the difference between making money and losing money on the crop.
Oh, my head.
Posted at 8:03 AM on April 21, 2011
by Michael Olson
Filed under: Around MN
"A $43.5 million dollar fiber optic project made its first official mark on [the] region. It's a bright outlook for the future of northeastern Minnesota," reports the Northland News Center.
Hundreds of miles of fiber optic cables will bring faster Internet access to the Arrowhead region of Minnesota by the end of this summer. Ground for a broadband network stretching 915 miles was broken yesterday. Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) and other politicians were on hand to tout the long-term economic significance of this federally funded project.
More on the Mountain Iron event from the Northland News Center:
The ... network will stretch across eight counties in the Arrowhead Region and bring world class web speeds to the area.
Some of the first people to see a change in service will be health care facilities and schools, where administrators say Internet plays a vital role in education.
"It's like a rope, and it's just one of the pieces in our rope that is woven into it is this technology and this going to link our schools together over the whole region," said Dr. Charles Rick, superintendent with ISD 2142.
Ground Level's Jennifer Vogel has a deeper look at the project:
At least by some measures, Cook County in far northeastern Minnesota, has the worst Internet service in the state. Thanks to federal stimulus dollars, this is poised to change. But residents hope high-speed won't change everything about this remote, beautiful county
Michael Caputo distilled the perspective shared in a forum about broadband in the region.
Ground Level White Paper: What is broadband?
Also clicking on MN TodayVilsack: Redirect ethanol subsidies
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Wednesday that he endorses an ethanol industry proposal to scale back its nearly $6 billion annual federal subsidy and redirect some of the money to renewable energy research and incentives for gas stations to dispense a range of ethanol blends (Star Tribune).
Unmanned aircraft flies over Oslo, captures video of Red River flooding
The aircraft with the 10-foot wingspan was launched from a slingshot-like apparatus, using pressurized air.Within 12.5 feet, it was traveling at 60 miles per hour. And, within seconds, it was producing video of Red River flooding (Grand Forks Herald).
KFGO bars Associated Press story sharing
Joel Heitkamp, operations manager for KFGO, said though he suspects it will have "a negative effect for all of us," the station's decision was a direct response to The Forum doing the same thing in late 2008 (Forum of Fargo-Moorhead).
Lost hiker found after he spent night in Lake County hunting shack
Joseph Noah was reported missing at 9 p.m., Lake County search teams were deployed off the hiking trail through the night, Sheriff Carey Johnson said. He said Noah and another man had been looking for agates along the Gooseberry River in the area near the Superior Hiking Trail when they got split up (Duluth News Tribune).